Chaos to Couture
“ The clichè is that the original American version of “punk”
was about art while the British was about politics.
There’s truth to it. In New York, in 1974, we did want to make art.”
So starts the book “punk: chaos to couture” quoting Richard Hell, musician, artist, mentor of the Sex Pistols and film critic for BlackBook magazine from 2004 to 2006. Punk’s iconoclastic aesthetic was originally rooted in street culture, but its subversive style has had an enduring influence on high fashion, from the do-it-yourself ethos of punk’s originators to the perfection defined by its couture descendants. This impact is explored between the polished, black covers of “punk: chaos to couture”, published to accompany the spring 2013 exhibition at the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Pentagram’s Abbott Miller has designed the graphics to capture the immediacy of Punk style in a cover design inspired by a vintage LP cover. It is superbly illustrated with photographs of punks and high fashion from
the 70’s until today, and edited with commentary by Andrew Bolton, the curator of the fashion collection at the Met, the inspiration behind the show.
An introduction to the period by Jon Savage writer and filmmaker, and prefaces by Richard Hell and John Lydon also known as Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, give some weight and direction to Bolton’s curated images.
Punk. Chaos to couture
by Andrew Bolton
published by Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013
32,5 x 32,5 cm; 240 pp
Order online from 10 Corso Como Bookshop